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French in Michigan

French Settlements

By James V. Campbell
Read February 6, 1878

It would be difficult to say anything very new concerning the French discovery and settlement of Michigan. So many persons have devoted themselves to describing it that, while a few incidents are occasionally found which have thus far escaped the press, the most that can be done by any one is to give a new shake to the kaleidoscope, and produce new combinations from the old materials. I shall attempt no more in performing the duty allotted to me. The first thing which strikes most readers of colonial history is the difference between French and English colonies in their beginnings and in their later fortunes. And this difference is not in all respects easy to be accounted for, although some matters are quite obvious. A brief reference to some of the colonial antecedents will not be out of place. The discovery of America was followed by a great revival of the spirit of adventure, which very soon led to colonial enterprises in all parts of the world. Spain for a long time took the lead in these adventures, and set up colonies and factories extensively in America as well as elsewhere. No other power made a more respectable show upon the sea, and none had better soldiers or mariners.

Early Michigan


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